Bests bets: Midweek acca
After tipping three winners at the weekend, the Analyst is back with his four best bets from the midweek fixtures.
Birmingham vs Sunderland – Tuesday
There is a relegation six-pointer in the Championship as Birmingham host Sunderland. Birmingham have had an up-turn in form recently, picking up seven points from a possible 12, including two deserved wins (Leeds and Reading). They have improved defensively in that time, and have conceded just 4.1 xG in those four games, vastly better than earlier on in the season.
Sunderland are looking for back-to-back victories, but were slightly fortunate to have beaten Hull City 1-0 last time out (SUN 0.9 – 1.3 HUL xG). Sunderland have really struggled to create chances, generating just 1.9 xG in their last five league games – something that Chris Coleman needs to address. Goals and chances are expected to be few and far between in this huge match, with under 2.5 goals the selection.
Selection – Under 2.5 goals @ 4/7
West Ham vs Crystal Palace – Tuesday
West Ham have moved into mid-table after winning two and drawing three of their last five matches. David Moyes has his team heading in the right direction, and their performances have been good as well as their results. They have generated 6.2 xG in those five games, and are expected to create chances once again in this match.
Crystal Palace will feel unlucky not to be higher in the league at this stage of the season, given how they have performed. They too have moved into mid-table after a good run of form, putting a slow start behind them. They will need to improve on their 4 - 1 defeat to Arsenal last time out, a game in which they were simply out-played. Both teams have a lot of attacking talent at their disposal, and are expected to get on the scoresheet.
Selection – Both teams to score @ 4/5
Chelsea vs Bournemouth – Wednesday
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight league matches and will be seeking to follow up on their deserved 4 - 0 victory against Brighton last time out, though it was a game in which they were once again fortunate to score as many goals as they did (1.38 xG). While Chelsea have ‘over-scored’ this season, they do have the second best defensive record (according to xG), with only 21.3 xG conceded in 24 matches.
Bournemouth are also in good form, unbeaten in five, and will be seeking to improve upon their 1 - 1 draw with West Ham. They have moved into mid-table after a slow start, but have one of the worst expected goals total in the league. It would be no surprise to see a tight game, with at least one side maintaining a clean sheet the selection.
Selection – Both teams to score ‘NO’ @ 9/10
Newcastle vs Burnley – Wednesday
Newcastle have won just one of their last five league games and were deservedly beaten by Manchester City last time, a result that leaves them hovering just above the relegation zone. Goals have been hard to come by for Newcastle, having hit the net just three times in five matches, something they need to change if they are to survive.
Burnley will be seeking to improve on their 1 - 0 defeat to Manchester United last time out and register their first win in seven. Since their hot start, Burnley have struggled, though that was to be expected as their numbers were unsustainable. They have failed to hit the net in five of their last seven matches, and could fail to do so again. With both sides frequently struggling to create high quality chances, under 2.5 goals is put forward as the selection.
Selection – Under 2.5 goals @ 1/2
Acca pays ~ 7/1